Nicky Epstein’s Enchanting Collection

Nicky Epstein has developed a magical approach to design.  Known as a knitting architect amongst her peers, her style is defined by the use of artful embellishments, precise angles and the remarkable shaping that she creates by suddenly changing direction in the middle of a row, swirling and twisting stitches with nimble ease. 

Nicky Epstein

Teacher, designer, and author of more than twenty bestselling books on technique and design, Nicky Epstein learned the basics of knitting from her Italian grandmother and later studied fashion design and fine art at Columbus College.  It was during a stint as art director at a design firm that she took a chance and entered a handknitting contest sponsored by McCalls Needlework magazine.  That  winning entry was a colourful sweater with a unicorn motif and Nicky’s playful embellishments.  She currently lives in New York City, spending time promoting her love of knitting through workshops, special events, and as a frequent host of Vogue Knitting Tours.

In this latest book, Enchanting Collection, Nicky was enthusiastic about the natural palette of fibres from Aslan Trends, and put together thirteen original designs.  Expanding on her innovative crochet and knit techniques, she has created functional, wearable pieces for women inspired by the ‘enchantment’ of gardens, and the changing seasons.

Bewitching Hooded Scarf

Like pieces of a puzzle, knitted triangles fit together in a series of blocks to form a ‘scood’ with a center back seam.  Crocheted corkscrew tassels and faux fur add an extra touch of luxury and whimsy.  Its the hidden back seam that keeps the hood in place.  Knit in Artesanal, a blend of cotton, alpaca, and nylon. 

Cosy Cable Coat

A hit of bright contrast in Del Zur luxurious merino goes a long way in this bulky jacket with cable detail on the pockets, front panels and back.  Los Andes, in Indigo is the main colour, a thick slubby merino blend that knits up on 9 mm needles.  Raglan sleeves give it a smooth fit across the shoulders and the collar is knit into the front sections, so no extra finishing required.

Heavenly Cardigan Shrug

Look once, look twice, Nicky baffles us with this crocheted shrug.   Its really two separate panels, criss crossed and joined at the centre back neck and side seams leaving ample room for armhole openings.  Butterfly wings, a sprinkling of leaves and flowers with beaded centres are the icing on the cake.   

Back of the Shrug

Crocheted in Invernal, a lightweight angora blended with merino wool in Sky Blue.

Spellbound Woven Vest

Clever construction makes this vest stand out in a crowd.  Look closely to see knitted strips are interwoven and attached at side edges with Nicky’s signature I-Cord closures.  Knit in a simple cable rib with Del Cerro, merino wool in Khaki.

Magical Two-Way Capelet

You may want to give yourself more than just one option with this floral inspired capelet, knit in Pima Clasico, a pure cotton with all the sheen and substance of silk.  Four squares are knit, pieced together and edged with I-Cord.  Wear it horizontal as shown, or swing it one half turn and change the look to a V-shaped front and back.

11 Responses to “Nicky Epstein’s Enchanting Collection”

  1. Jude2006 says:

    I am a huge fan of nicky Epstein! Her books are the best reference guides for edgings and details. The Woven Vest would be a challenge to knit, very creative. great work!

  2. Carol says:


  3. Tina says:

    i like the way she uses embellishments in her work.

  4. D R says:

    Two of Nicky Epstein’s books are on my shelf already.

    I will add this one as well.

  5. Anne N. says:

    I was lucky enough to take a workshop with Nicky a few years ago. She really is an architect and a great teacher. My edgings have never looked better.

  6. ginny29 says:

    love the woven vest!

    its a piece of art!

  7. Abby says:

    Nicky’s new book has some unusual styles especially the crocheted shrug, i like the back image where it crosses and drapes….. i checked at my closest yarn shop for the book and they didnt have it in yet….. will keep checking….. i am an avid crocheter and patterns like this one don’t come along too often.

  8. Rpl2007 says:

    the new book looks good
    i dont know aslan trends yarns but i like the natural fibre aspect

  9. Wendy B says:

    its always interesting to read about the designers on here and see their new work….are there any well-known Canadian designers?

  10. Barb Barone says:

    Nicky Epstein is coming to Edmonton, Alberta in November 2011 to do workshops @ River City Yarns and to teach at their Wool, Wine and Wheels retreat….. For details go to

  11. Lastokes says:

    Beautiful – just ordered my first Nicky Epstein book – can’t wait for it to arrive!
    Joan Stokes – Cape Town South Africa

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